Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Downside to Mindfulness

I write so much about the benefits of mindfulness that I have to fess up when I come across a study that reveals negative effects.  This hasn’t been too taxing because there are so few resources painting mindfulness as having any deleterious effects at all.  But recent research out of Georgetown University does just that.

It turns out that mindfulness can inhibit implicit learning and implicit memory.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ACA Open Enrollment Deadline is Friday

Friday, December 15th is the deadline to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Complete mental health coverage is still included in the available plans.  Access to healthcare is one of the most important steps one can take toward wellness and independence.

From NAMI:

November 1, 2017 was the first day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2018 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

*Important Notice:  The 2018 open enrollment period is shorter than in previous years, so it's important to act quickly. The last day to enroll in or change a plan for 2018 coverage is December 15, 2017. Coverage will begin January 1, 2018. Those who do not purchase a plan may be subject to a penalty, as well as being uninsured for the year.
To preview plans and enroll, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-25961-855-889-4325 (TTY) for more information.
For free assistance with applications or related questions, call a Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator at 1-855-274-5626

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Maybe It's The Discipline

Mindfulness works as a therapy to increase impulse control.  While the results of practice are well-researched, the neurological mechanisms are indeterminate.   Something about mindfulness practice actually changes the cortical make-up of the brain.  Why this happens is not yet known.  It could be the focused attention or the release of judgmental thoughts.  Or, it could be the discipline.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Meditating with Purpose

If mindfulness is the sharpening of one’s ability to notice, then perhaps this noticing can be applied to the subtle changes in thoughts, behavior, and emotions that precede or come concurrently with the onset of a mood change or a psychotic episode.  One changes as one enters any psychiatric episode.  Noticing these changes can enable the individual to take whatever steps are necessary, and effective, to head off a debilitating psychiatric break.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Simple Practice

Here's a simple meditation technique that anyone can fit into their schedule.  It’s called the Twenty Breaths Practice.  It only takes a few minutes, can be performed almost anywhere, and can yield great stress relief.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ACA Open Enrollment

The Health Insurance Marketplace of the Affordable Care Act is open for enrollment.  Despite much back and forth in politics and the press, all plans in the marketplace still include full coverage for mental healthcare.  Don't be left without coverage.

From NAMI:

November 1, 2017 was the first day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2018 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

*Important Notice:  The 2018 open enrollment period is shorter than in previous years, so it's important to act quickly. The last day to enroll in or change a plan for 2018 coverage is December 15, 2017. Coverage will begin January 1, 2018. Those who do not purchase a plan may be subject to a penalty, as well as being uninsured for the year.
To preview plans and enroll, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-25961-855-889-4325 (TTY) for more information.
For free assistance with applications or related questions, call a Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator at 1-855-274-5626



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How To Begin Meditating

Meditation is quite different from sitting there doing nothing, thinking nothing.  It is instead a focused attention on one’s present experience.  A chance to minimize the distractions that pull one away from the present. Pleasant events are often spoiled by comparison to other good experiences or worry that this wonder may soon end.  Difficult experiences are often tempered by a desire for escape and the fantasy of being somewhere else doing something else.  The mind will wander all over the place and our present experience, good or bad, may be missed.

So meditation becomes a practice.  A practice to remain here, in the present moment, fully aware.  It is something that must be practiced to achieve benefit, and the practice, though simple, can be extremely challenging.  But the benefits, as described in other posts and in countless others’ experience, are worth it.

So how does one begin?